PARKERSBURG - Solid team defense, highlighted by superb goalie play, was the name of Wednesday night's Parkersburg South at Parkersburg High girls soccer match at Stadium Field that ended a 0-0 scoreless standoff.
There was one ball, though, that was kicked into the net in the game. That was by PHS (3-2-2) in the 23rd minute of the first half, but it was blown off because of a high kick.
The defenses in the Class AAA crosstown rivalry were dominant all night, both team-wise, but especially by the two keepers - South's Alexis Skinner, who was credited with 19 saves, and PHS' Taylor Beckley with 6.
Photos by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg's Connie Chefren, right, kicks the ball away from Parkersburg South's Allison Brezler and Monica Stanwick, center, Wednesday while Chefren's teammate Taylor Hunkele pursues the ball.
Parkersburg's Kailey Cox, left, battles Parkersburg South's Halleigh Miller for the ball Wednesday
The Patriots' Kaitlyn Miller banged a shot off the crossbar atop the goal with 27:43 to play and Skinner jumped to tip away a shot going in over her head with 11:47 remaining.
With a little over four minutes left off a corner kick by the Big Reds' Connie Chefren, a shot was blocked away from in front of the goal, then booted over the net before time ran out with no score in the game.
''It's another PHS-South soccer game,'' said Big Red head coach Kristen Schreiber. ''It's always a battle. Both teams always step up and seem to play really well against each other. Another 0-0 draw, I don't know how many of these games in the last year have been decided by one point or been 0-0. Both teams played really well tonight.''
But Schreiber added, ''We've got to be able to get the ball in the back of the goal and get some of these W's that I think this team should get.''
First-year Patriot head coach Ron Bucholtz was an assistant under former coach Rick Bush, so he knows to ''always expect close games'' in the South-PHS rivalry. ''Both teams always play hard because they don't want to lose this one.
''My girls played outstanding soccer tonight, even though we had just played a hard game last night. Our goalkeeper was oustanding, our defense was solid. Both teams had some chances, them probably a little more, but I thought my girls did admirably tonight.''
South, now 3-3-2, and PHS meet up again at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 at the Erickson All-Sports Facility in a game originally set for Sept 20, but moved up three days.